Good morning all!  Today is the last day of our blog for a bit…stay tuned for updates in the next blogging season. It has been an honor to journey with you all!

Today’s scripture: John 20:1-18  (The Message)

1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”

3-10 Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.

11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”

13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

16 Jesus said, “Mary.”

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.

For the gospel of John, the story of resurrection starts in the dark.  Somehow this is poignant for me this year.  It does not begin with lights and trumpet.  It does not begin with fanfare or bright lights. It does not begin with chaos.  The story of Jesus coming to life again starts in the calm. It starts in the whispers of the first light of morning but even before dawn for John.  It starts when it is still dark.  The world has changed and the world doesn’t even know yet.  Jesus rose while it was still dark.  And for some reason, this year, that seems to make a world of difference.  While I have been journeying this season, I know that it will be transformed here, in this moment.
And when Jesus finally does appear again, his most faithful disciple Mary doesn’t even recognize him….not until he calls her name.  So Jesus transforms in the dark and that transformation looks different to us.  We have transformed this season.  How does that make us feel? Our world has gone upside down and all over the place in the span of just over 40 days.  We don’t even recognize it anymore until this new life calls our name.  It becomes personal.  Jesus calls Mary’s name in order for her to realize what is going on.
What joy!  What fear!  What in between feelings happen in all of us.  This new life is super confusing but comforting at the same time.  It is super surreal and yet it just feels…like a good new thing is happening.  It causes all sorts of emotions in us that we haven’t really felt before.
But take a moment before you get too carried away and enjoy the calm before the storm. Prepare yourself for this crazy ride we are about to discover in Easter (because Easter is a 50 day season by the way with its own twists and turns).  We get time to live into Easter…this new transformed life.  In the meantime, relish the still darkness that moves around us…the thin space….and then when you are ready, look into the tomb for what is not there.
He is risen!
Happy Easter!

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